Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Should I finish my prereqs at a 4 year school or at a community college

Question: I am looking to take classes to become eligible for pharmacy school. I'm 27, have an BS biology and an MS in secondary science education. I currently work full time. The classes I still need to take are:

Ochem 1 and 2
Micro biology
Anatomy and physiology

I need to choose between taking these classes ( probably 2 at a time for work reasons) at a 4 year university and and a community college. The university is over twice as expensive. From an admissions standpoint taking in my non traditional status is it worth my while to pay more for the state university over the cc?

Thanks for your guidance!

Answer: Most applicants in your situation choose the community college route. I think Adcoms are conditioned to understand why this is the case and typically aren't overly concerned with it. My recommendation would be to go that route as well. Make certain, however, that you excel in those classes.

Thanks for your question and good luck.

Monday, October 17, 2011

When should I start preparing for pharmacy school interviews?

Question: I have submitted my PharmCas info and supplemental applications. I have a GPA of 3.9 and my June PCAT was 95. I anticipate receiving interviews although I am trying to keep my expectations muted. at what point should I start preparing for interviews? Will you be available to offer any preparatory advice?

Answer: Thanks for your email. As you know, the admission process is broken into several steps. The first is your application, then inteviewing, then decision making.

Since you have registered with PharmCas, taken the PCAT, and completed your supplementals, etc, you can probably start thinking about the interview process. Each school (usually depending on whether thay have rolling admissions or not) will have a different schedule for inititating interviews.

Interviews are usually a bit stressful for applicants as evidenced by the beads of sweat and the sometimes non-stop chatter they give us during the interview. Understandably so, but most interviewers are trying to sell the school to you as much as you are trying to sell yourself to the school. I've not met any interviewers who were difficult with an applicant intentionally.

As far as your question, we are always happy to answer question about interviewing - whether it be preparation or things that you wonder about after the interview. In my opinion, as a reviewer, interviewing is where the fun starts.

If you have questions, please post on the forum in the interview section.

Thank you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

PCAT score review

Question: just took PCAT- preliminary score report shows as the following:

Verbal Ability: 427 86%
Biology: 430 88%
Reading: 381 18%
Quantitative: 457 97%
Chemistry: 443 93%
Composite: 428 89%

40y old trying to change careers. Already have the following degrees:
- BS in Polymer chemical engineering
- MS in Chemistry
- MS in Computer Engineering

would like to know if this PCAT score is enough or to retake the exam.

Answer: The PCAT score is great... the odd low Reading score probably won't count against you too much, particularly considering the Verbal score is oustanding. Personally, I wouldn't retake the exam.

The key (and I cannot emphasize this strongly enough) is to adequately describe your motivation for the career change - that is what an AdCom will want to see expressed in your personal statement, essays, and interviews. The questions you need to be prepared to answer Why Pharmacy? What makes you think that pharmacy is a good fit? What have you learned in your previous career that you can apply to a career as a pharmacist?

Good luck.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ahhh, the pharmacy school application season begins again

As many of you know, we have run this site for the past couple of years in an effort to demystify the pharmacy school application process while providing objective and honest answers to your questions. We have reviewed countless personal statements, essays, and answers to supplemental questions and responded to more emails than we can count. I have personally enjoyed getting to know many of you and seeing you through this process.

Now that the application cycle has again begun in earnest, I hope you will understand that we now have very little time to review statements on a request by request basis from the users of the forum for the next several months. There have been a number of users and current pharmacy students who have offered their help and if you look in this erea of the forum, hopefully you can find someone willing to assist (link: http://www.pharmacyschooladmissions.com/viewforum.php?f=11).

We will always respond to emails sent to us directly, but we again appreciate your patience as do get backlogged from time to time. We ask that you include your forum username along with your email.

We'd like to think that we are different than many of your other sources of information and we believe that we can offer constructive advice from a perspective not available to many of you on a large scale.

We wish you the very best and hope that you will share our site with a colleague, classmate, friend, or anyone who might benefit from the site.